Representatives of the Syrian opposition visited Washington last week in order to persuade US President-elect Donald Trump to cooperate with them, local media reported.
“Our message to him [Trump] is this: The opposition that he describes, that he does not know, is the Syrian nation, is the Syrian civilization … He should make an effort to know us more,” Jawad Abu Hatab, the prime minister of the Syrian opposition interim government told The Washington Post following the visit, the newspaper reported on Sunday.
Another politician pointed out that the Syrian opposition supported Trump’s intention to cooperate with Russia but called for distinguishing between working with Russia and strengthening Iran’s positions.
“It is good that Trump works with Russia. There must be some sort of US-Russian understanding to solve the issues in the Middle East but without [Syrian President] Bashar Assad as a partner. If Trump does partner up with Assad, that would directly empower Iran in a major way,” Abdul Ilah Fahad, the secretary general of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, told the newspaper.
He added that the Syrian opposition had already been communicating with the Russian authorities.
Representatives of the Syrian opposition also expressed their dissatisfaction with the policy of outgoing US President Barack Obama noting that his administration gave too many promises that were not kept.
During his pre-election campaign, Trump expressed doubt in the aims of the Syrian opposition and questioned Obama’s support for the armed groups. He also vowed to seek a better relationship with Russia, which backs Assad.
Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, with government forces fighting the Syrian opposition groups striving to overthrow Assad. Damascus is also fighting numerous extremist and terrorist groups such as the Jabhat Fatah al Sham (previously known as the Nusra Front) and the Islamic State, both outlawed in the United States and Russia. According to the United Nations, 300,000 Syrians died since the beginning of the conflict.